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Inclement Weather Procedures
If possible, decisions to delay or close schools will be made no later than 5:30 a.m. in order to provide families adequate time to be notified and to seek and find daycare and alternative family plans, if needed. Early notification also allows our transportation, maintenance, and food service teams to prepare for necessary adjustments and modifications.
However, please be aware that while we may make the decision before 5:30 a.m., it will take time to post the information on the district website, radio, television and other communication channels. We will work as quickly as possible, but keep in mind that all local school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, etc., are also contacting these media outlets during the same time period.
A friendly reminder that if you do not see our information posted on one site, check the other locations– it might have been uploaded more quickly at that site.
We always keep the safety of our students and staff at the forefront of our decision-making, and also recognize that weather forecasts can be unpredictable. As we head into the winter season, please remember to always check our website and download the district’s mobile app to receive up-to-date information on closings and delays.
How are decisions made regarding weather-related school closings and delays?
The Superintendent makes weather decisions in consultation with PennDot, the municipality, and the district’s Director of Transportation and Director of Plant Services (who drive and/or assess the road and campus conditions). Safety is the primary concern in deciding when to delay or cancel school. Dangerous wind chill factors, icy roads, accumulated snowfall, heavy fog, flooding and severe storm warnings are all reasons for delaying or canceling school. Loss of heat or water, fire damage and hazardous spills have caused specific buildings to close or be delayed.
Factors in Decisions:
- Road conditions
- Projected weather forecast
- Risk-reward balance of bringing students to school or the possibility that they may be home alone because parents cannot take off work unexpectedly.
- Timing of the weather.
Snow Make-Up Days
We will update the calendar on our website with snow make-up days and the tentative date of the last student day of school if make-up days are needed. Please be aware that our last student day could change due to an abundance of necessary school closures.
Determining a 2-hour delay
There are several reasons for a 2-hour delay. For our young drivers, it allows them to drive in the daylight and avoid rush hour traffic. For our maintenance staff, it provides extra time to plow parking lots, clear sidewalks, and make sure each building’s heating system is working properly. For all of our students, it offers a safer commute in daylight, and gives extra time for roads and sidewalks to clear. For our busing service, they may need additional time to dig out and clear the buses to begin their bus route. For the state and local road crews, it allows extra time to clear the roads of snow and debris. And for the administration, it provides time to make sure all of the above has happened and students have a safe environment. Sometimes the 2-hour delay also allows time to see if the weather forecast and conditions require the need to close school.
Process of closing schools early
When weather conditions develop during the day and the district decides to close the schools early, high school students will be dismissed first followed by middle school students and then elementary students. Parents of elementary students should have an emergency plan prepared in case of an early dismissal. The district will announce the early dismissal via our website, Facebook/Twitter/Mobile App, a School Messenger email and phone call, and postings at media outlets.
two options for school closure due to inclement weather:
1. Traditional Snow Day
- There is no instructional delivery on an actual snow/inclement weather day.
- MTSD has two “built-in” snow days in the 2022-2023 school calendar – 2/20/23 and 3/20/23. If we do not need to use these built-in snow days to make up for days off of school due to inclement weather, there will be no school on these days.
- MTSD will update the calendar on our website to reflect the snow make-up days that are used. As shared earlier, please be aware that our last student day could change if it is necessary for us to use more than our two planned snow days. Those additional snow make-up days may be added on to the end of the school year.
2. Flexible Instructional Day (FID)
- A Flexible Instructional Day (FID) is a school day where instruction is delivered asynchronously while the school building is closed. A FID day counts as a school day and does not need to be “made up” later in the school year.
- All students are expected to actively participate in learning & complete assigned work asynchronously. Students will have access to Teachers for at least two (2) hours during established “office hours.” Teachers will communicate information regarding their office hours & how to contact them if needed. Students & families may message teachers on Seesaw/Schoology or by email with questions or if assistance is needed. Elementary students will bring their iPads home in anticipation of a FID. Please be sure the iPad returns to school with your student the next school day following a FID.
- Instructions for a FID will be communicated to students by their teachers and will occur asynchronously using Seesaw (grades K-4) and Schoology (grades 5-12).
- Elementary (Grades K-6) assignments will be communicated to students & families by 9:00 a.m. on the day of the FID.
- Secondary (Grades 7-12) assignments will be communicated to students & families by 8:00 a.m. on the day of the FID.
- Students will complete FID assignments on the day of the FID. It is best for FID assignments to be submitted on the first day back to school in-person. Still, students have up to two (2) school days after the return from a FID day to submit assigned work. Assignments are due by the following times:
- Grades 7-12: Due By 2:30 p.m.
- Grades 5-6: Due By 3:15 p.m.
- Grades K-4: Due By 3:40 p.m.
- Work on a FID may be submitted to the teacher via Schoology, Seesaw, or in hard copy. The work completion is necessary to account for student attendance. If a student does not submit assigned work during the school day or within the first two days after returning to school, they will be marked as “Absent” for the FID. This absence will require a signed parent note detailing the reason for the student’s absence. As per the district attendance procedures, the lack of a signed parent note after three school days will result in the absence being coded as an “Unlawful Absence.” Students may receive a zero on any assignments that are not submitted.
Process for scheduling a FID
The school district will communicate in advance via School Messenger that a FID may occur.
- The FID will also be announced through the district website & social media (Facebook & Twitter).
- Not all media outlets will specifically name this as a FID, as some are not equipped to post specific information & may only share “delays or cancellations.” For example, you may hear that MTSD is closed on the television or radio, even though we are communicating to you that MTSD may be instituting a FID.
There are four possible outcomes resulting from the announcement of a potential FID, please refer to the school messenger message on the day of the FID to determine which outcome has been instituted.
- Outcome 1 - Upon confirmation that a school closure is necessary, notification that we will institute a FID will come via email, as soon as possible, in advance of the start of that school day.
- Outcome 2 - It is possible that a day anticipated for use as a FID will not be used as a FID (for example, the actual-weather that we experienced did not necessitate a school cancellation).
- Outcome 3 - It is possible that a delayed school start would be sufficient for safe travel to school that day, and the FID would not be used.
- Outcome 4 - If the district determines that it is safe to travel to school on time, schools will report and begin at their regularly scheduled times. In this case, a FID would not be used.